FAQ's for Grade 8 Students
The majority of student timetables will include ONE course from each of the following eight categories:
- English Language Arts 8 or Humanities 8 EN
- Social Studies 8 or Humanities 8 SS
- Mathematics 8
- Science 8
- PHE 8
- French 8
- Fine Art elective (three one-term electives or one year-long elective)
- ADST (three one-term electives, must include one term of mandatory Career Education)
Each student is assigned a locker and a combination lock is provided. Students are permitted to occupy only their assigned locker. No personal locks (i.e. non-school-issued locks) may be used on your main locker. Your combination will be recorded for administrative purposes; otherwise, it should be kept confidential. Valuables should always be secured with a lock. The school does not take responsibility for the loss or theft of items from lockers. You are responsible for the condition of your locker and any damage that may result over the course of the year will be charged to you. If you have any concerns regarding your locker or lock, please see Mr. Juteau, our Vice Principal in charge of lockers.
Listen to the PA announcements on Monday and Thursday, check the hallways and classrooms for posters and announcements, follow us on Twitter and always check out the website.
You can also stay up-to-date by using the Gator Blocks app. Gator Blocks is a free app for iOS and Android devices that will help both students and parents keep track of the block order and class schedules. You can also keep track of homework and make other notes in the app. Links to Gator Blocks on the App Store and Play Store are on the school website (wgss.ca).
FAQ's for Grade 8 Parents
Students are promoted or failed by course, not grade. The failed course must be repeated in Grade 9 (the next school year) or at summer school. If a student fails English Language Arts 8, s/he will be reassigned to Grade 8, although s/he may be taking Grade 9 courses the next school year.
The Langley School District provides some full credit and remedial courses through Summer School, though not all courses are available. Information about Langley Summer School will be available in late April at https://www.sd35.bc.ca/schools/summer-session/. A student must have met a reasonable number of the learning outcomes and be recommended by their classroom teacher and counsellor. The full credit courses are full grade courses; the remedial courses are pass (the highest mark that can be achieved is 60%) or fail only.
Parents of children making the transition from elementary to high school will likely begin to notice changes in feelings of independence in their children. This is natural but should not be mistaken as a reason to become detached from their child’s schooling. Get to know your child’s timetable and teachers’ names and keep a copy of their timetable at home. Better yet, download Gator Blocks! Gator Blocks is a free app for iOS and Android devices that help you keep track of the block order and your child’s class schedule. Links to Gator Blocks on the App Store and Play Store are on the school website wgss.ca. All parents are encouraged to attend “Meet the Teacher” night in September.
The best way to contact a staff member at WGSS is through email. Email addresses are on our website under the top tab “Staff Connection.” Talk to your child about their classes, friends, and activities. If you are concerned about academic progress, please email or phone your child’s teacher.
Alert school personnel if you become aware of problems at school or problems that are otherwise out of your immediate control.
You should first discuss the problem with your child and if necessary, seek assistance from the classroom teacher. If further discussion is needed for resolution, you are encouraged to contact the Grade 8 counsellor.
It helps to know what’s going on behind the scenes as well. Please join us for parent/teacher interviews, visit teacher websites, sign up for email, and read our newsletter. The PAC always welcomes new parents at their monthly meetings.
Your child can avoid being a victim of theft by leaving money and valuables at home, using only the assigned school lock for their locker, keeping their combination confidential, and not leaving belongings unlocked in the PHE change rooms. Cell phones are the most common item reported stolen so be particularly conscious of this. Report lost or stolen items to the office immediately in the hope they will be found and turned in, but please understand that the school cannot replace missing items.
Student fees and other school costs can be paid by parents using our secure online system, https://sd35.schoolcashonline.com/. More information is available on our website under top tab Our School, Pay Your School Fees.
All students in Grade 8 must wear school issued Gator PHE strip for all PHE classes. This allows students to be easily recognized when doing loop runs or participating in outdoor PHE classes. WGSS offers parents high quality Gator shorts and t-shirt for $20 that can be paid along with student fees at the start of the school year. Students will receive PHE strip from their PHE teacher by bringing their student fees receipt to their PHE teacher in the first week of school.
Teen years are difficult ones for many kids and parents; however, if communication has been good to this point, there is no reason to be concerned that it will change. Your children will meet all sorts of new people. Stay involved by asking for surnames, addresses and phone numbers. Ask the ‘new’ friends over and get to know their parents. If there is a social event, make sure there is appropriate supervision. Know what is happening, how your child is getting there and home, and at what time. Emphasize that your main objective is ensuring safety and well-being. WGSS is a large high school with a large group of caring staff members to help watch over your child’s well-being.
Let an adult at the school know immediately. At WGSS harassment is unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated. We believe that all students have the right to be educated in an environment that is free of any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination. Students should tell an adult that they trust, like a teacher, counsellor, or an administrator. Staff members are trained in detecting bullying and dealing with reports or incidents of bullying. Students’ privacy will be respected.
Inform the school that this is, has been, or is becoming a problem. Set the expectation at 100% attendance in all classes for your child from the very beginning of the school year. Research increasingly shows that avoidance increases anxiety and lessens coping skills. Teens need to ‘step into the situation’ (L. Lyons) with a plan in place to build resiliency.
DO: react immediately and keep the message consistent: You will go to school. If s/he is not at school, home needs to not be overly comfortable with readily available wifi and technology. Establish a way to make getting to school enjoyable such as the buddy system or a favourite stop on the way once or twice per week. Work as a team with the school. Seek outside counselling for support early on.
DON’T: give mixed messages by giving in sometimes or excusing your child from school. An unexcused absence or late should not be called in and should stand alone as an absence or late. Don’t excuse them from certain courses or activities; work with the teacher, counsellor and VP to problem solve. Don’t ask for a change of teacher or classes; work with the adults in the building to teach your son/daughter awareness of ways to manage difficult situations for future situations.
At Walnut Grove, we believe technology can be a very powerful learning tool and our goal is to teach students how to use their technology to help them learn. In today’s world, most students come to school with some form of technology in their pockets, whether that is a smartphone or an iPod. As a result, students have access to a world of information at their fingertips that can be used to assist them with their learning. At WGSS, we strongly encourage our staff to use technology as a learning tool in the classroom. Therefore, we allow our students to bring their technology to school and in many cases, teachers will allow students to use their technology in the classroom as long as it is for educational purposes. If students are using their technology for purposes besides learning during class time (ie. texting, social media etc.), then they run the risk of having their technology taken away for the duration of class or having to hand it over to a Vice-Principal. Please do not text your child during class time.